The Athletic “gutting” British newspapers

Mighty Boosh

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my referral link if anyone's signing up in the near future, 40% off here
 

ayushreddevil9

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I've been subscribed for about two weeks now.

My opinion is that it's definitely worth it if you're a fan of long-form journalism and other sports besides football. If you intend to lurk in their "community" Q&A forums and wait for transfer scoops from Mitten & co. then it's a waste of money.

I'm an MMA obsessive too, the journalists they have in this field are great! And the NFL content is aplenty now the season approaches.

I live in New York and travel on the subway a lot so the fact that the Athletic app is available offline with articles is a big plus as mobile phone reception is non-existent when commuting.

I'm going to pay the heavily discounted upfront annual fee when my trial ends.
If you know any students, ask them to get a student subscription. 50% off for first four years. I am a student so thinking of getting one.
 

Thunderhead

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I've just subscribed, it's bloody decent value for money at £30 for a year
 

Thunderhead

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article and Interview with Michael Knighton today, I enjoyed it.
 

B20

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Their stated business strategy is pretty disgusting:

“We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing,” Alex Mather, a co-founder of The Athletic, said in an interview in San Francisco. “We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.”
 

Brophs

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Stephen Ireland's interview is quite a read. A massive load of old bullshit, but entertaining to see that he actually believes some of it.
 

marktan

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I gave this a try for a couple of days, but the articles really didn't interest me. I have to say a combination of BBC football + reddit/soccer works better for me for footballing news.
 

iammemphis

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60% off just for today I think
Seriously what is the point in having 60% off for one day ffs. They should do it for at least a month, or even 6 months.Lolz
 

adexkola

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Their stated business strategy is pretty disgusting:

“We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing,” Alex Mather, a co-founder of The Athletic, said in an interview in San Francisco. “We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.”
Not working too well for Uber and co.
 

1966

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Their stated business strategy is pretty disgusting:

“We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing,” Alex Mather, a co-founder of The Athletic, said in an interview in San Francisco. “We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.”
Sounds like standard Silicon Valley late-stage capitalism to me.

He can talk a big game for the investors but he must know in private that the business and its model are extremely precarious.

Almost every news outlet of any kind, whether paper or online-only, is in the red and only heading in one direction for the foreseeable future. They've only lasted this long because of powerful people with money and a vested interest in gaining access to the minds of the population.

Fortunately, it's an intractable problem because the news has been garbage for so long now that the trust relationship between readers and writers is irreparable. I'm enjoying the chickens coming home to roost, personally.

On the topic of paying for sports journalism, in the words of Peter Jones, I'm out.
 
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GGT

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Not working too well for Uber and co

Uber are valued at 75 billion
 

Thunderhead

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I'm loving it, there has been some great stories and insight and the quality of journalism across different sports is well worth a couple of quid a month imo.

Some of the in depth articles have been great, favourite article so far has been 'A confrontation of fates in the long, dark hunt for a PGA Tour card' by Brendan Quinn, I just don't see in depth journalism in any of the UK websites, how long it will last I've no idea but I think I'll still subscribe at full price next year.

Also read an article on 'The $750 million teens: The untold story of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and the remarkable 2009 under-18 U.S. national team' which was great, I don't even like Baseball but I like decent sporting stories
 

Castia

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Their stated business strategy is pretty disgusting:

“We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing,” Alex Mather, a co-founder of The Athletic, said in an interview in San Francisco. “We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.”

They’ll go bust before the big publishers do.

News is consumed for free both on tv, online and for 20p a newspaper.

Id never pay a subscription to read a fecking online article. If there’s even anything remotely must read it’s posted within minutes online anyway.
 

Amerifan

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I signed up and regret it. You get the same content for free elsewhere. The United coverage in particular is lame. There is better coverage on the threads here. Save your money.
 

1966

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I signed up and regret it. You get the same content for free elsewhere. The United coverage in particular is lame. There is better coverage on the threads here. Save your money.
Good to hear. Hope you can cancel ASAP and weren't taken for too much money.

Anyway, I've always been of the mind that if you lurk on a forum dedicated to any particular subject with loads of other people that you're (a) going to automatically hear about anything of significance to the subject and (b) going to find more insight amongst the crowdsourced contributions of the masses.
 

JJ12

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I signed up and regret it. You get the same content for free elsewhere. The United coverage in particular is lame. There is better coverage on the threads here. Save your money.
Shocked anyone would think this but each to their own.
 

JJ12

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They’ll go bust before the big publishers do.

News is consumed for free both on tv, online and for 20p a newspaper.

Id never pay a subscription to read a fecking online article. If there’s even anything remotely must read it’s posted within minutes online anyway.
They won't.
 

Vidyoyo

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It's obviously there for people who enjoy reading sports journalism, not people looking for breaking news.
 

Amerifan

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Good to hear. Hope you can cancel ASAP and weren't taken for too much money.

Anyway, I've always been of the mind that if you lurk on a forum dedicated to any particular subject with loads of other people that you're (a) going to automatically hear about anything of significance to the subject and (b) going to find more insight amongst the crowdsourced contributions of the masses.
I signed up for a year so no refund. I stopped bothering, but just checked it. The United articles are like Give Ole 2 More Years, and Ed Woodward Is To Blame For Everything, and All The Problems Are At The Top. The City article is about Silva’s tweet. The Arsenal one is something like Why Emery Should Be Sacked. Not the exact titles but you get the idea. Same stuff you get here and the BBC. If you do try it only subscribe for a month so you can get out if you want.
 

Amerifan

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I can't see them make it work long term, think they will fold as soon VC funding dissipates.
If the number of comments on the post match threads is any indication, they don’t have a lot of football fans signing up. United seems to have the most with like 50 comments. The other teams are more like dozen or two. The coverage of the US sports may be better and more popular. I hope so for their sakes.
 

Bastian

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Their stated business strategy is pretty disgusting:

“We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing,” Alex Mather, a co-founder of The Athletic, said in an interview in San Francisco. “We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.”
fecking hell, is that a real quote?
 

1966

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I signed up for a year so no refund. I stopped bothering, but just checked it. The United articles are like Give Ole 2 More Years, and Ed Woodward Is To Blame For Everything, and All The Problems Are At The Top. The City article is about Silva’s tweet. The Arsenal one is something like Why Emery Should Be Sacked. Not the exact titles but you get the idea. Same stuff you get here and the BBC. If you do try it only subscribe for a month so you can get out if you want.
I was never going to try it. I want to see it crash like all establishment media entities. But I must say I'm not displeased that they've taken a bunch of apparently good journalists from general news sites just to put them in a containment pen of harmless sports nonsense. (Actually, the more I think about it, the more I see The Athletic as very indirectly conducive to my dream. Carry on!)

On the real topic: as I said before, I genuinely believe I can discover and learn more from reading and participating in a forum like this, even if there's more chaff to sift through (which can still be funny or entertaining chaff). Maybe I'm biased by the quality of my own effort-posts but I'm far from the only one on the forums I frequent whose opinions I value more than those of any journalist I've encountered.

(It's harder than ever to respect journalists and their scribblings when the quality of legacy media journalism has been stuck in a cycle of perpetual decline for nearly two decades: nobody cares, nobody buys, businesses can't afford skilled and experienced journalists, businesses lay off their expensive senior workers, repeat. The end result is the comically bizarre scenario we have today: twenty-somethings who don't own passports publishing articles about the geopolitics of the Middle East in major newspapers while making less than the monthly rent on their New York box apartments.)

It sucks that you got taken for a year. Is there really no recourse for a refund within a limited timeframe? Have you tried contacting them and just explaining that you're not sufficiently impressed by the quality/quantity/variety of the articles?

A no-refund policy seems like it might be illegal here in Europe, especially after the decision against Valve in recent memory, which set a precedent for digital goods in general, but I'm not sure (and obviously you might not care enough to seek recompense so aggressively anyway!). Hope it doesn't end up being a total waste, mate.
 
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1966

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fecking hell, is that a real quote?
That's how a lot of these types talk in settings that aren't necessarily meant to end up being shared on massive public forums like this. Just remember all the shit Zuckerberg has been found to have said about Facebook's idiot users in private (not that this Athletic quote was private but it certainly wouldn't have been intended for mass consumption).
 

Grinner

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So a big name journalist goes there, so what? How hard is it to write about footy to a good standard? I've read some stuff on here that is good enough so it can't be difficult to replace these journos who are jumping ship.
 

Classical Mechanic

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So a big name journalist goes there, so what? How hard is it to write about footy to a good standard? I've read some stuff on here that is good enough so it can't be difficult to replace these journos who are jumping ship.
It's as much about networking and getting good intel as it is about writing. Ornstein has the best connections at Arsenal of any journalist.
 

do.ob

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It's as much about networking and getting good intel as it is about writing. Ornstein has the best connections at Arsenal of any journalist.
The actual stuff that relies on networking is pretty "mobile" though. Sure, you can hide the article behind a paywall, but there's nothing stopping people from tweeting "Arsenal in pursuit of player x [Ornstein]". If you want quality tactical or statistical analysis then sports journalists never were your (wo)men anyway, that stuff can only be found in blogs and on twitter. 95% of what these people do is stating the obvious in eloquent terms or trying to create drama by taking a quote out of context, I sincerely doubt most of them offer more than name recognition.
Honigstein for example makes a living out of rehashing German content for the English market and English content for the German press. I'm not sure I ever read an original piece of his in my life.
I still remember back in 2013, when a Dortmund board got fed up with Bayern tapping up Lewandowski in public and created the rumor that Dortmund were going to sign Toni Kroos as payback. Funnily enough Honigstein's networking yielded the same rumour soon after:
https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2013/feb/18/bayern-munich-borussia-dortmund-lewandowski-transfer

These are the same people who called Guardiola a fraud, because he dared to take a year to rebuild his squad. Most of what these people do is dumbing down reality into simple narratives. I hate them all.
 
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GBBQ

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The actual stuff that relies on networking is pretty "mobile" though. Sure, you can hide the article behind a paywall, but there's nothing stopping people from tweeting "Arsenal in pursuit of player x [Ornstein]".
In fact you'd want these stories to be leaking out in order to encourage new people to sign up.
 

BBRBB

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The actual stuff that relies on networking is pretty "mobile" though. Sure, you can hide the article behind a paywall, but there's nothing stopping people from tweeting "Arsenal in pursuit of player x [Ornstein]".
People who leak information may want the biggest audience and could turn away from Ornstein & co in favour of the next journo they trust that isn't hidden behind a paywall.